Social media shame or success – can there ever be a winner?

The reality of shaming through social media. Can there ever be a winner?

Social media shame or success – can there ever be a winner?

Our obsession with social media is, well… obvious. With a plethora of multimedia devices available and screens small enough to carry around in our pockets, we have instant worldwide access at our fingertips. Try and spend 2 minutes on Facebook and leave without the even smallest desire to just take a peek at the next post!

But when it comes down to it, social media is merely a tool, and like every tool it is the way we use it that counts. We can either enrich or denigrate everything that is true and beautiful about us. It can be said that generally the use of social media is far from innocent with regards to the spin, the angle, the intent and integrity in which the content is portrayed. Truth or lies? How do we know? Almost anything seems to be acceptable. What have we created – a platform for an illusionary wannabe good life, a dumping ground for vitriolic hate speech? These days you can kill with a comment, literally.

We are witnessing the dark underbelly that accompanies this always-available instant communication technology, where one press of a key propels you into world-wide exposure. The massive wave of influence that occurs through the virtual world of the media has very real consequences – this we know. But are we willing to truly look at how we fuel our global communication vehicle? By that I mean the defined quality of the content in detail … from inception to expression.

With easy access to social media platforms we have the world at our fingertips, and with apps like TikTok you can post your own clips. The mum of a 10-year-old girl wanting to join TikTok for harmless cooking recipes regretted her decision to allow her daughter access because within a week she had burst into tears at the dinner table for not being pretty enough – like the girls on TikTok. But the question is, what is the unexpected and uninvited guest accompanying the recipe? We are instructed in the ingredients, the method, the temperature, all the temporal necessities to make the cake, but it is clear that something else is being communicated here. If self-denigrating thoughts seemingly out of the blue take a firm grip – in this case on a girl’s sense of self-worth and confidence – it makes sense to take a closer look at the subtler undermining messages that accompany this example, a recipe sharing app. We need to be able to not only read the temporal ingredients that make the cake, but the most potent ingredient of all, the energy of the accompanying vibrational message that we devour hook, line and sinker and that stays with us long after the cake has been eaten.

The subtleties of the energy of ‘vibrational bullying’ play out on social media in the very same way as in the classic schoolyard scenario. It can look the part, sound the part, but reveals itself with the fact that it creates comparison and exclusivity, setting a standard for the accepted ‘cool’, for the haves and the have-nots to become a reality. And so you have it – separation is achieved.

It is no longer enough to be your true and natural self. When you think about it, how often have we relented to the pressure of ’popular’ in the desire to be accepted amongst our peers? There is a myriad of ways to comply with the model. Furthermore we let ourselves be consumed with upholding this image as ‘real life’, and it can at times sadly escalate to the point where it is actually valued more than life itself.

Take the music industry for example. Big talent shows are back with a vengeance, with celebrities and huge audiences judging kids as young as 5 years of age on their ability to become a ‘star’. Do they ‘have it’… and what if they don’t? – the pressure is on. And everyone watches while social media ensures that the entire world can witness their make it or break it moment. Like wolves at a feast, we gobble up every moment of staged drama without any consideration for what is actually occurring within the body and being of the ‘talent’. But win or lose… it's the same game and the glint in the eye of judge, jury and player says it all. But, if we the viewer observe with eyes that do not desire an outcome – a ‘winner’ or a ‘loser’ – it is evident that body gestures, stress, hype, pleasing smiles and crushing nervous tension tell a very different story. The vibrational energetic outplay is the real show on offer.

But how can we begin to understand what is truly going on? We have the most amazing barometer constantly at our disposal. The superb sensitivity of the human body is able to clock the tiniest disturbance. The body does not judge, it only knows truth. It registers all that is occurring on the deepest energetic level. In theory we know that listening to the body’s intelligence is the smart thing to do, just as we know our body sometimes protests at the food we eat. But do we listen? More often than not, determined to remain on our decided course we block out and override our innate sensitivity. Have we become so bludgeoned by the desired and accepted model of life that abusive behaviour – because that is what our body in truth is communicating it is – has become our accepted norm?

Meanwhile, sensitivity ignored, the human-being taken by the glitz and glamour is easily rendered a puppet in the face of impending stardom… or not, depending on which way the wind blows. And as the audience we consummately play our part. In the name of entertainment, we proselytise our opinion on the worthiness of the subject, our fellow human being, our off-hand comments feeding the judge and jury mentality that whips up a frenzy of activity to circulate through the internet. But it’s harmless, some would say, just a part of life that, really, you need to get used to, it builds resilience… we celebrate them… for now. And our comments, written and posted in as much time, or even less, than it takes to speak the words, echo through cyber space to become indelibly imprinted as a reality for the receiver and on offer for the next viewer to take up.

Meanwhile, those watching alone in their bedrooms wonder how they could possibly ever be good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, sassy, sexy and buffed enough to be such a ‘success’ in life. Because this is real success, right? This is the ultimate moment that proves you are it, and that you have made it in the eyes of the world. But what is ‘it’? And once you have made ‘it’, what happens next? Well, the noted outcome is often not so good as many battle drug, alcohol and food addiction and struggle to keep their place at the top, middle … or anywhere. It turns out that this pinnacle of success not only has a steep incline, but if you are deemed ‘finished’ by that which put you there, a most treacherous decline with a rocky bottom awaits where you are smashed remorselessly by the machinations of very industry that raised you.

What happens when the success balloon suddenly deflates and you are left with the very thing you started out with… yourself. What does the taste of such success look like now? Based on gratification that comes from the acclamation of others…. is this how we measure our worth? Hmm, but all it takes is a new kid on the block and it can be whisked away at any moment –maybe because of factors that we don’t really like to consider.

Maybe jealousy and comparison play a part? To be the revered number one means you have to push someone else off the platform. And to maintain number one, well… who can fathom the amount of silent attack and abuse that goes on behind the shining smiles of ‘the chosen ones’, the same behaviour displayed by the bullies in the schoolyard. And for the ones who never made it to the world stage there is no need to leave home… through the media we are delivered the full package straight to our door.

As we watch the dreams, desires and fetishes play out in front of us on the screen, are we able to simply observe and not be swept up by the influencer’s offering? Do we know and appreciate ourselves deeply enough that we are able to see the energy playing out before our eyes and stay the observer without being drawn into it? Can we simply observe it for what it is or, as our eyes watch the display, do we accept the invitation to join it as at some level we begin to wonder ‘where do we fit in all of this’? And in this wandering wondering more thoughts of the same consciousness start to frame our mind… so the forgery begins. Caught in ‘being me is not enough’, the false image claims the day and the familiar phrase ‘each and every one of us is unique and beautiful’ remains a meaningless catchcry because we don't have connection to the truth and steadiness in our own body and our inner essence that needs nothing from anyone or anything, that is complete and absolute in union.

The need to forge ourselves into what society is hungry for in order to be accepted, to be cool, respected … and loved, yes … to be loved – how soberingly sad is that – overtakes our connection to our true nature. The beauty of who we truly are and the vastness and uniqueness of what we naturally bring is rejected. In the act of dismissing our inner wisdom and looking to the outside world for acceptance, we incrementally strip away our alignment to our true magnificence until we are no longer the observer of life, but the absorber. And then we have joined the charade. This is the narrative we have created and are responsible for promulgating as ‘life as we know it’ and is enacted over and over again from birth, through education, our work and adult life.

What we allow through social media is simply a reflection of how we run life. The two can’t be separated. And if we are honest, we also have to admit that we are the consumers, we provide the demand for the product. The music, entertainment industries, social media and the like thrive on our demand. The colosseum is not so distant. We haven’t changed our mob mentality one iota.

Until we realise the true value of who we are and that our value cannot be owned by the disingenuous rewards the created world dishes out; that we are far greater and more powerful in our absolute realness, our delicacy and sensitivity; that anything that crushes us in any form is destructive and the complete opposite of confidence building; that beauty is an inner quality that emanates; that first and foremost we are made up of, and so respond to, energy; that the energetic forces that we align to run us…. then we will carry on using the excuse that we are ‘only human’ and allow the story of what we are told ‘success’ is to continue to run, blind to any consideration of who or what is truly running the show. We will stay most successfully at war with ourselves.

As we dedicate ourselves to understanding how equally powerful, potent and beautiful the innermost nature of each and every one of us is and celebrating and living that union across the board, at work, home, in family life and relationships – not exclusive to the office we hold in life we will come to a different understanding of success that far surpasses the word itself.

The evolution of humanity has nothing to do with the next technological or individual betterment. True evolution does not tear us apart but ensures everlasting union and enrichment equally so in the way we live and grow for all of us to fulfil our true destiny and success has no adjudicator other than our true heart that definitively shows us the way.

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AccountabilityBody awarenessMusic

  • By Jenny James, Singer/Songwriter

  • Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.